It’s a hit! Birthday song goes viral
Ambridge has been besieged by pop fans this week as an amateur recording of a birthday party song went viral.
‘Eddie, the Prince of Grundys’ by Wayne Tucson has had more than a million hits on EweTube (sorry. Ed) since party guest Josh Archer uploaded the song to the internet from his smartphone.
‘I had no idea it would be such a smash hit,’ said Mr Tucson. ‘I just wrote down a few words for my old mate Eddie’s 65th birthday. The lines came easily to me – like ‘Clarrie says he’s cuddly as a teddy’ and ‘his cider makes men go unsteady’. Just natural talent I guess.’
Like Justin Bieber’s Beliebers and Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, Mr Tucson already has his own army of fans, mainly middle-aged ladies, who call themselves ‘Waynettas’ and wear cowboy hats with horns.
Mr Tucson is now considering offers to play the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury and a concert on the roof of Buckingham Palace for HM The Queen’s 90th birthday. ‘It’s tempting, but Jolene’ll have my guts for guitar strings if The Bull runs out of sourdough rolls,’ he said.
Pageant to tackle modern issues
Local impresario Lynda Snell is promising a ‘bold, edgy treatment’ for her production of EM Forster’s England’s Pleasant Land, which will celebrate the re-opening of Ambridge Village Hall.
‘I have taken the liberty of adapting the script to reflect the concerns of today’s society,’ she said. ‘To end the play, the cast will hold up a huge banner reading: “Coercive and controlling behaviour in a relationship is now a criminal offence”. They will then parade the banner round the green before handing it to Neil Carter and his son Chris, who will climb ladders (held by their wives Susan and Alice) and fix it to the roof of the Village Hall.
‘This is a very important message,’ said Mrs Snell. ‘You can’t be too subtle about it. I’m sure Mr Forster would have approved.’
• In other pageant news, Mrs Snell has denied any suggestion of political point-scoring in her casting choices. ‘It’s all pure coincidence,’ she said. ‘Just take a look at the cast list and see…’
Squire and Mrs George, wellmeaning but selfish landowners:
Brian and Jennifer Aldridge
Squire Jeremiah, rapacious and unscrupulous encloser of lands:
Jack and Jill, humble and hard-done-by workers:
Ed and Emma Grundy
The Recorder, pompous prophet of doom:
Mr Bumble, hapless local official:
PC Harrison Burns
Schools warn of fraudsters posing as parents
The Boarding Schools Union has warned its members to increase security after a suspicious couple visited SpareTheRod House in north Borsetshire this week.
‘A Mr Rob Titchener and his mother Ursula came to enquire about a place for Mr Titchener’s son Henry, who is five,’ said headmaster Dr D. Tention. ‘I assumed they wanted to put his name down, but they asked if he could start next term! I explained we never take boys under seven but Mr Titchener cried. It was quite a tantrum, actually. He said being terrified and neglected in childhood was good enough for him, so why not Henry?
‘It then transpired that Henry’s mother knew nothing about the visit, and Mr Titchener is not the boy’s father, although he has some parental rights.
‘Of course, I showed them the door, but I’d advise all schools to be wary. These two are clearly a pair of distraction burglars, or worse, and should have nothing to do with the education of small boys.’
My working week
In our occasional series featuring local residents who have interesting jobs, we interview Isla Makim-Stopp of the Felpersham women’s centre.
Q Are domestic violence and abuse common in Borsetshire?
A Oh yes, far more so than you’d think. It’s not confined to any age or social group.
Q How do women get in touch with you?
A Women can call our 24-hour helpline in complete anonymity. Even then, some are too scared to tell the truth. This week, for example, I heard from a woman calling herself ‘Kirsty’, who said she was asking for a friend. This is very common.
Q Were you able to help?
A I’m not sure. Kirsty described a relationship where the woman had been made to feel the abuse was her fault, that she’d brought it on herself. This is also common. I explained that controlling and coercive behaviour is now a criminal offence, as well as physical violence of course. All I could do was reassure her – or her friend – that we are there for her when she is ready. I hope she got the message.
Q What other kinds of calls do you get?
A Well, not every caller understands what we do. Also this week, for instance, I had a call from ‘Kate’, complaining that her father had locked the office door so she couldn’t do her photocopying free of charge. I had to explain that this isn’t ‘abuse’ as such. She was quite cross though.
Egg ends up on faces at breakfast
There were ugly scenes at the Borsetshire Business Breakfast Forum this week as hungry guests blamed the sponsors for bungling the catering arrangements.
‘We were promised pastured eggs from the Fairbrothers’ new business at Hollowtree, and Bridge Farm sausages,’ said one furious guest. ‘But all we got was a PowerPoint presentation about their mobile henhouse and a few leftover wedding canapés from the Ambridge Tearoom.’
‘We are very sorry, but it was an easy mistake to make,’ said Toby Fairbrother, who organised the event. ‘I’m like, so passionate about our cool new brand that I just, like, forgot we don’t have any eggs yet.
‘And I’d asked Pip Archer to get us some sausages from her cousin Tom, but she was busy Skyping Matthew the Magic Milker in Cumbria and forgot. Come on, no biggie, guys!’
Rex Fairbrother, Toby’s brother, said he would personally deliver a box of the high-welfare pastured eggs to each guest to apologise, as soon as they had supplies. ‘And it’s quite wrong to blame Pip for the sausages,’ he said. ‘She’s a really lovely girl.’